How to Clean Slippers: 7 Effective Techniques You Need to Know

how to clean slippers

I believe everyone own at least a pair of slippers at home. It is such a convenient indoor accessory that will make your activities feel a lot comfier. And being a person who wears a pair of slippers everyday, and familiar with the shoe industry, I shall share my experience on how to clean slippers properly!

As someone who has spent countless hours working in the shoe industry, I know firsthand the importance of proper shoe care. As a trusted source for shoe care advice, I am excited to share my expertise with you in this comprehensive guide on how to clean slippers. Whether you’re dealing with tough stains or simply looking to refresh your beloved pair, you can trust that these techniques will help you achieve the best results possible. So, let’s get started!

I. How I Clean My Slippers

Cleaning slippers can be a bit tricky. After all, you don’t want to damage them by unsuitable ways of cleaning, don’t you? Luckily, I prepared an article that compiled some easy steps on how to clean slippers properly.

I’ve tested the steps, and the result is magnificent! Keep reading to see more of them.

a. Slippers Cleaning Kits

Before I share the steps on how to clean your slippers, let me share with you the list of tools that I usually use to clean my footwear, including slippers.

Shoe CleanerA specialized agent to clean your footwear.
how to clean hiking bootsApronKeep your clothes clean and dry while cleaning your slippers.
how to clean sneakersPremium BrushBrush the upper part of your slippers.
Standard BrushRemove dirt and stains from the slippers’ outsole areas.
Small Brush or ToothbrushClean the narrow and hard-to-reach parts of your slippers.
Micro Fiber ClothWipe the suds and dirt off your slippers.
Wash BowlA container to mix water and shoe cleaner agent.

b. How To Clean Slippers By Hand?

Now let’s get to the tutorial on how to clean slippers manually. I’ve tested this method myself many times, and it’s safe to say that the result is not disappointing!

Step 1: Prepare the dirty slippers

how to clean slippers

The first step is getting a pair of dirty slippers ready for cleaning.

Step 2: Get the cleaning kits ready

how to clean slippers

Now let’s take the cleaning kits mentioned before to the table. Wear an apron, then get the shoe cleaner, a set of brushes (premium, standard, and small or toothbrush), a microfiber cloth, and a washbowl ready. Mix the shoe cleaner with water until the water turns soapy, and set aside.

Step 3: Clean the sole

how to clean slippers

The next step is cleaning the slipper sole. Dip a standard brush into the soapy water, then start the scrubbing. Repeat the process as you need until the sole turns clean, then wipe it using a microfiber cloth.

Step 4: Clean the upper

how to clean slippers

After cleaning the sole, now let’s move to the upper. Similar to the previous step, only this time, replace the standard brush with a premium one. Scrub the dirt and stains off from the upper. Repeat if necessary. Please clean the upper gently, so you don’t leave scratches or damage in the future. After that, wipe the upper slipper with a microfiber cloth.

If you don’t have a shoe cleaner, try these steps. Scrub the slippers carefully under running water until all dirt and stains are coming off. After your slippers look clean, wipe them with a microfiber cloth. In my opinion, cleaning slippers with soapy water and running water are equally ideal and will give you similar results.

Step 5: Detailing

how to clean slippers

Sometimes, scrubbing isn’t enough, as you might miss small details on the slippers. Damp a microfiber cloth, then use it to clean the dirty details of the slippers.

You can substitute the microfiber cloth with wet tissues or a damp clean cloth to do the job, but I must say that the microfiber cloth is the best among the three. This is because the durability and water absorbance in microfiber cloth is far superior and clean much more efficiently.

Step 6: Drying

how to clean slippers

After ensuring the slippers are clean and no more dirt is left behind, leave the slippers to air dry. I use a fan to help with the drying process, and it takes around one to two hours. The same goes for a hair dryer, in which I use a cool setting to dry the slippers.

Don’t dry slippers under direct sunlight, especially if it’s mainly from rubber. This is because rubber shrinks when you expose it to extreme heat, like under the sun or with a dryer.

Step 7: Finishing

how to clean slippers

After the slippers are dry and clean, now they’re ready to wear again.

II. How To Clean Different Type Of Slippers

a. How To Clean Slippers With Rubber Soles

Most slippers have rubber for their soles. Similar to shoes, the rubber sole has direct contact with the ground; thus, some specks of dirt and dust are stuck there. Here’s my guide on how to clean slippers with rubber soles.

  1. Dust the dirt and debris from the slipper sole with a strong and stiff-bristled brush.
  2. Mix warm water with a few drops of gentle dish soap until the water turns soapy.
  3. Damp a clean cloth into the cleaning solution, then start wiping the rubber soles.
  4. Allow it to air dry for a few minutes.

In my case, I use a toothbrush to remove debris and small particles that get stuck to the rubber sole of the slippers, and it works perfectly. The cleaning liquid is optional, especially if the sole is super dirty.

b. How To Clean Smelly Slippers

Smelly slippers are caused by bacteria buildups and moisture that gets into your house shoes. To get rid of the unpleasant odor, I usually use affordable and safe home ingredients, such as vinegar and baking soda. Here are some easy steps that you can try at home too:

Using vinegar and water

  1. Mix white vinegar and water with a ratio of 1:1, then put the solution into a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the solution into the inner slippers to dampen them.
  3. Let sit until the vinegar smell is gone

After using vinegar, I can say that the unpleasant smell in my slippers is gone, but this only works for not faint odor. For deep cleaning your slippers or if the smell persists, follow these steps.

Using baking soda

  1. Pour some baking soda into the interior of the slipper to absorb the unpleasant odor and bacteria. Let them sit for a few hours.
  2. Remove the excess baking soda with a vacuum.
  3. Mix warm water with mild detergent, then damp clean cloth with the solution.
  4. Wipe the inner slippers with a cloth to sanitize your slippers and clean them from stains.
  5. Let the slippers air dry, and your slippers now smell fresher than ever.

In my opinion, baking soda is the perfect option to absorb stubborn smells on the slippers. It also neutralizes and freshens your slipper. Furthermore, baking soda doesn’t mask your smelly slippers like perfume or other room fresheners.

c. How To Clean Non-Washable Slippers

There are various types of slippers, including non-washable ones. This type of slipper doesn’t catch as much dust and stains as the other slippers. Either way, it’s important to clean them when you notice dirt or stained spots on them. Here is how to clean non-washable slippers.

  1. Brush the slippers off from dust and other small particles with a regular brush.
  2. Damp the towel with warm water, then wipe the stains off from the slippers. Make sure that you don’t make it drenched, or you can replace the towel with wet tissues. 
  3. Let them air dry for a few hours.

Non-washable slippers don’t go well with water, so you need extra care to clean them. I recommend cleaning them with a dry brush to remove dust and dirt from the slippers. As for removing the stains, I prefer to use wet tissues to do the job.

d. How To Clean Leather Slippers

As you know, leather goods need extra careful maintenance to keep them looking good. Leather slippers are no exception to this. Here are some safe ways to clean leather slippers.

  1. Clean the leather surface with a shoe brush to remove dust and debris. As an alternative, you can replace the brush with a clean cloth.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix water with a few drops of leather soap (or use Castile soap) well.
  3. Dab a toothbrush into the mixture, then start scrubbing the leather part gently. If you’re worried about leaving scratches on the delicate material, replace the brush with a clean washcloth and wipe the surface.
  4. Let them sit to air dry. You can also use a fan to speed up the drying process.
  5. After your shoes are clean and dry, apply a small amount of leather conditioner onto the surface of the slippers. Wipe the excess conditioner away and let the slippers absorb the moisturizer.
  6. Polish your slippers with a soft-bristled brush or cloth.

In my experience cleaning leather slippers, it’s best not to use leather soap, which doesn’t contain damaging ingredients to the sensitive materials. The same goes for the mild and natural Castile soap, which is safe for cleaning leather. 

Another item required while cleaning leather slippers is leather conditioner. I’ve used leather conditioners to moisturize and prevent creases and cracks on the leather surface, and the result doesn’t disappoint at all!

e. How To Clean Champion Slippers

Champion slippers are another type of house made by the titular American brand. Their slippers are not only for indoor use but also perfect for outdoor occasions. Here’s how I usually clean my Champion slippers.

  1. Combine warm water and mild detergent until form soapy water.
  2. Rub the slippers gently, either by hand or soft brush, then give a quick soak.
  3. Rinse the slippers thoroughly and squeeze the water out of them.
  4. Pat the slippers using a clean and dry towel to absorb excess water.
  5. Let the slippers air dry.

In my opinion, washing slippers manually is the best and safest option. It’s because you don’t risk the house shoes being thrown around at the machine and increasing the damage potential.

f. How To Clean Fluffy Slippers

Yes, you can wash fluffy slippers either by hand or using a washing machine. Here is the tutorial on how to wash fluffy slippers manually and in the washer, respectively.

Cleaning by hand

  1. Combine some warm water with a mild detergent until all is dissolved and mixed properly.
  2. Dip a clean cloth into the cleaning mixture, then start working on your slippers. Rub the inside, sole, and hard-to-reach area.
  3. Rinse the slipper with warm water, and squeeze them out carefully to remove excess water. Use a towel to wrap the slippers and absorb the remaining moisture.
  4. Dry them on a cloth line and avoid direct sunlight.

Based on my extensive experiences in the shoe cleaning industry, washing fluffy slippers manually with hands is the safest method to ensure the fuzz to not fall apart and keeps the slippers’ life longer.

Cleaning in a washer

  1. Read the tag on your slippers to ensure that they’re safe to wash in a washing machine.
  2. Damp the slippers first with the cleaning mixture similar to the previous tutorial.
  3. Put the slippers in a laundry bag before throwing them into the washing machine. You can use clothes or towels to balance the weight and prevent excessive banging.
  4. Start the washing process with cold water at the slowest speed for a short time.
  5. Take the slippers out from the bag, then wrap them with a dry towel to absorb the excess water.
  6. Hang the slippers in a cloth line and let them air dry.

It’s a bit risky washing a pair of fluffy slippers in a washer. With that being said, you need to make sure that your slippers are safe to wash in a machine.

To make the inside part of the slipper fluffy again, you can use a hair dryer. Turn it on at the lowest heat (or cool setting if your hair dryer is more advanced) and start working on the fuzz. Make sure that it doesn’t get too hot, or the glue will be damaged. I’ve tried this trick with the cool setting, and it works!

III. Common Stains or Issues with Slippers and How to Avoid Them

Although I use my slippers mostly indoors, it doesn’t mean that they can’t get dirty. In fact, we wear our slippers way more often that we wear our shoes! Therefore I never forget to wash my slippers and I recommend you to do the same.

When we are indoors, the stains on our slippers can come from our kitchen, bathroom, or even our dining room. Stains like food stains, liquid house cleaning agents, fur from our pets, and many more. I know that it takes extra efforts to clean them once they are full of stains. So, I think I need to share some important tips on how you can avoid your slippers from getting dirt and stains at home.

1. Use slippers indoors

It is necessary to wear your home slippers based on their functions, which to be worn at home. Most home slippers are made of delicate fabrics, and they are not designed for outdoor environment. Wearing your slippers outdoors will cause them damage and shorten their durability.

2. Keep them dry

Humidity is not your slippers best friend. As I mentioned earlier, humid environment accelerates the microorganism’s growth and causes plenty of issues. The slippers might have an unpleasant odor and are more likely to get damaged. So, I highly advice you to keep your slippers dry at all times.

3. Wash them regularly, but not too often

Since slippers are being used almost everyday, washing them regularly is advised. However, keep the time range wisely because washing them too often can damage them and make them look dull a lot sooner than they should be.

4. Don’t leave them in storage for too long

Just like other footwear, storing your slippers in the storage can damage them. Whether it’s because of humidity, dust, or bugs, your slippers are guaranteed to be broken faster if you don’t wear them on regular basis.

5. Wear socks

The last tip is one of my best tips on how to avoid issues with slippers and avoid them from getting unwanted stains. Wear socks when you wear slippers. Personally, I wear my socks every time, because it’s not only keeping my slippers dry, clean and odor-free, I also feel that it’s warmer that way.

IV. Products or Natural Solutions Suitable for Cleaning Slippers

Since home slippers are made of delicate materials, then I always advice anyone to try cleaning them using the most natural products that they can easily find at home. Don’t worry, I am going to share with some of of my best natural ingredients to clean my slippers, as below.

  1. Vinegar: Vinegar is a good ingredient to wash slippers. Just mix it with water and you can gently scrub the dirty area and leave the dry a bit.
  2. Liquid detergent: Liquid is also a mild solution to wash your slippers, which can be found at any home. Just mix a liquid detergent with water and just hand wash the slippers gently before you let them air dry in the sun.
  3. Castile Soap: Castile soap is a recommended solution to clean leather slippers. Mix it with war water and use a clean cloth to wipe the dirt from the leather.

V. Do’s and Don’ts


  • Clean the slippers frequently.
  • Wear slippers while lounging at home.
  • Use shoe cleaner or running water to clean the slippers.
  • Spray enough shoe perfume if needed.


VI. How often should I clean my slippers?

Ideally, you need to clean slippers regularly once every month, although you can do this frequently if needed. This is because the slippers might catch bacteria from frequent use and become a perfect place for them to grow. As for me, I clean my slippers once a month. That way, I can keep them clean but still maintain the slippers’ integrity. Remember that excessive washing may damage your slippers!

VII. Ultimate Tips For Keeping Slippers Clean Longer

1 Only wear slippers indoorsSlippers are designed for indoor use, so I recommend that you wear them based on their functions.
2Always clean the slippers regularly by handCleaning them regularly will prevent dirt accumulation, microorganism infestation, and unpleasant odor caused by wear.
3Don’t put slippers in a dryerThe heat of the dryer can warp the soles of the slippers and shrink them. So, putting slippers in a dryer is a bad idea.
4Store slippers in a place away from petsIt’s best to keep your slippers away and store them somewhere safe because its very common for pets like cats and dogs to chew them.
5Replace slippers when they are damaged or worn downWhen they get tattered, ripped, and hollowed after a long period of use, slippers can’t get back to their former condition. So, it’s time to replace them.
6Make sure your feet are clean and dry before wearing slippersThe humid environment accelerates the microorganism’s growth and causes plenty of issues. The slippers might have an unpleasant odor and are more likely to get damaged. 

VIII. Conclusion

I believe that I have nothing left to teach you! I’ve highlighted all the important points and steps that I know related to cleaning a pair of slippers. Now it is up to you to follow them! But to sum up, cleaning your slipper regularly is important. Even though you only use them indoors, slippers may get contaminated with bacteria and dust.

To clean your slippers, you can follow my comprehensive guide above. Basically, you need to know what type of slippers you have and use the best method accordingly. You can use either specialized tools or alternative tools to clean them. Either way, do not neglect your slipper hygiene, and happy cleaning!

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IX. Frequently Asked Questions Related to Slippers

1. What is the best way to clean slippers?

The most simple way to clean slippers is by using just running water and rubbing them gently. Wipe the slippers with a clean cloth after cleaning. To ensure cleanliness, add a mild laundry detergent to the water and mix well.

2. How do you clean smelly slippers?

To remove unpleasant smells from slippers, there are some ways to do so. Get a shoe perfume and spray it to cover the smell up. Another home ingredient that can absorb odor in slippers and make them smell fresh is baking soda. Sprinkle a bit of it then leave for a few hours. Remove the excess baking soda with a vacuum cleaner, or simply knock them off, and good riddance to the foul smell!

3. How do you wash slippers with rubber soles in the washing machine?

There’s no need to rubber soled slippers in a washing machine. The reason is that they need gentle care by hand, the total opposite of what the washing machine does. The banging and knocking while in the washer lead to damaged slippers and cause more problems.

4. How do you clean suede slippers?

You can follow the steps that I’ve explained above. However, you need to use a suede brush to remove any dirt or debris. After all, suede is a bit more delicate. You also need apply a suede cleaner or eraser to any stains or marks, and gently buff the entire surface with a clean cloth. Let the slippers air dry away from direct heat or sunlight before wearing them again.